What is DELF?

DELF Certificate sample

The Diplôme d’études en langue française (DELF or Diploma of French Language Studies) is an internationally recognized French Language Proficiency Certificate awarded by France’s national Ministry of Education. It consists of a series of independent assessments based on a scale of language proficiency defined in the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), a framework used in second language learning around the world. DELF evaluators are teachers trained and accredited by France’s Centre international d’études pédagogiques.

DELF assessments exist in different versions adapted for children, teenagers and adults. All versions respect the same format and standards but content and themes vary. For teenagers, there are the DELF Junior and DELF Scolaire versions offered at four of the six CEFR levels of language proficiency. These are identical assessments;  Junior for individuals, Scolaire for schools.

Six Levels of Language Proficiency

CEFR* LevelDescriptionDELF DALF assessment
Basic Language User
A1Recognizes basic language ability where the user can interact in a simple way.DELF** A1
A2Recognizes the linguistic competency of a basic user who can communicate socially. DELF** A2
Independent Language User
B1Recognizes a language user who can manage with some independence in most situations encountered while travelling.DELF** B1.
B2Recognizes a language user who is able to communicate independently in most situations: construct arguments, defend opinions, explain viewpoints and negotiate.  DELF** B2.
Proficient User
C1Recognizes an independent language user, fluent, spontaneous; extensive vocabulary; clear, well-structured discourse without hesitation.DALF*** C1.
C2Recognizes an advanced language user; precise, fluent, sophisticated use in advanced-level and academic situations.DALF*** C2. 
*Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)
**Diplôme d’études en langue français (DELF)
***Diplôme approfondi de langue française (DALF)
The DELF scolaire does not assess the two highest levels of proficiency in the CEFR, C1 and C2. These are assessed in the Diplôme approfondi de langue française (DALF), an assessment for advanced and adult language learners.

Centre DELF des divisions scolaires du Manitoba